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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 06, 1978


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    Both parties discuss the language used in a draft of the treaty.
    "Cable No. 1550, Ambassador Sato to the Foreign Minister, 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (12th Meeting)'," August 06, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 2010-367, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also available at the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Contributed by Yutaka Kanda and translated by Stephen Mercado.
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Number: (TA) R056332     5550

Primary: Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General

Sent: China, August 6, 1978, 00:58

Received: MOFA, August 6, 1978, 02:37

To: The Foreign Minister     

From: Ambassador Sato

Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China Negotiations (12th Meeting)

No. 1550 Secret Top Urgent

(Limited Distribution)

Re: Outgoing Telegram 1530

On the 5th, the 12th meeting took place for a period of one hour and 50 minutes, from 3:30 to 5:20 in the afternoon (including a break period of 40 minutes from 4:00). A summary of its main points is as follows:

(The place for the meeting was the same as for the first one. The participants, except for Director-General Nakae, were the same as for the 11th meeting.)

1. I said at the start, “It is my turn to host the meeting. Vice Minister Han, please speak first.” Vice Minister Han then said the following:

(1)  We heard in detail yesterday the Ambassador speak and the Japanese side present another new proposal. Having seriously and carefully examined it, we find that the Japanese side’s new draft includes not a few problems. We do not consider it a good draft.

(2) I would like to offer some examples of the kinds of problems there are in the Japanese side’s new draft.

(a) First, in the negotiations to date, we have thought that both sides should make efforts to expand points in common and reduce differences of opinion for the treaty’s early conclusion. We think that, whether the joint statement or the treaty, it should reflect the points in common to both sides and that the contrary will not be acceptable. For example, the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement is nothing other than a document reflecting the points in common to the Chinese and Japanese sides. It is a matter of course that the treaty now under negotiation, too, should reflect the points in common to both sides. However, the Japanese side’s new proposal emphasizes “must not be understood as” and so on. I think that it goes without saying what kind of impression such a manner of speaking gives to people. Accordingly, we consider it impossible to adopt the Japanese side’s draft.

(b) Second, the Ambassador said yesterday that in the meetings to date, both sides have confirmed that Japan and China each has an independent diplomatic policy and that neither will interfere in that of the other. Such a sense is already reflected in the clause concerning the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in the treaty drafts of both sides. It would be superfluous to put it into the treaty as something standing alone along the lines of the Japanese side’s new draft. Rather, because it would give people the impression of something superfluous between China and Japan, I think that it would be of no use to our two sides.

(c) Third, the Ambassador said yesterday that the Japanese side has not said that opposition to hegemony is not something directed against the Soviet Union, nor does it intend to say so in the future. In regard to this attitude, which the Ambassador expressed, we take note of it and appraise it. As mentioned previously, each of our two sides has its own diplomatic policy. That each will not interfere in that of the other is something that from the start does not require many words. One cannot help but think that the Japanese side’s new draft still includes elements constrained by what the Soviet Union thinks. We consider this entirely unnecessary.

(d) Fourth, the language of the Japanese side’s new draft gives us the impression of an interpretive explanation and even a nuance of excuse. We consider the draft clearly inappropriate for writing into the treaty.

In the process of examination, we compared the new drafts recently put forward by our two sides. We consider, after all, that our draft of August 2 is the one that reflects the views of both sides and that should be accepted by both sides.

We would like once again to say with sincerity to our Japanese friends that the aforementioned draft of our side – based on the Joint Statement, proceeding from a political angle, and focused on the overall situation of Sino-Japanese friendship – is one that we have put forward after serious and careful examination. The Chinese side sees this as having considered to the greatest extent the view of the Japanese side, a sound and practical draft that fully considers the position of the Japanese side. By comparison, there are not a few problems with the Japanese side’s draft. I sincerely hope that the Japanese side will once again give serious consideration to the draft that we put forth on August 2 and positively work for an early settlement.

2. At this point I proposed a break. After a break of approximately 40 minutes, we started the meeting again. I said the following:

(1) We listened attentively to Vice Minister Han Nianlong’s statement from before the break. It is truly regrettable that the Chinese side considers there to be many problems to our side’s new proposal from yesterday. Yesterday’s draft is one that we made in full consultation with the home government and with attention to its being acceptable to both the Japanese and Chinese sides. I request that the Chinese side reconsider henceforth yesterday’s draft of the Japanese side and strongly hope to have the opportunity to talk about it.

(2) In addition, Vice Minister Han spoke of it as “constrained by what the Soviet Union thinks.” The Japanese side finds it truly regrettable that the Chinese side has not freed itself from such thinking. Regarding that point, we sincerely request that you please correctly understand the Government of Japan’s policy for the purpose of concluding the treaty.

3. Having finished my statement, I proposed ending the day’s meeting there. Vice Minister Han then asked: “I will not repeat again our view regarding the Japanese side’s draft, but there are many other issues. What would the Ambassador think about continuing the discussion today?” I asked him: “Is this about issues other than Clause 3?” Vice Minister Han gave the following reply:

We think it necessary to discuss issues other than Sentence 1 of Clause 3. First, in regard to the anti-hegemony clause, we have not completely settled the issue. For example, in the Japanese side’s draft of the anti-hegemony clause is the following: “Neither of the contracting parties should seek hegemony, either in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region. In addition, each of the contracting parties is also opposed to (note: in Chinese, ye shi fandui de) any attempt of any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.” The Chinese side’s thinking differs in regard to these sentences and its language.

The language in Article 7 of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement is, “Neither of the two countries should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and each opposes efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.” In the Japanese side’s draft, the final part is rewritten as “is opposed to,” which greatly weakens the language. The Chinese side cannot agree to this.

To say it again, the Japanese side’s draft differs in two places from Article 7 of the Joint Statement. That is to say, “in the Asia-Pacific Region” becomes “either in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region” and “opposes” becomes “is opposed to.” Today, I would like to discuss these two points further and settle them. What would you say to that?

4. I replied “fine,” then said the following:

In regard to the issue of the rewritten “is opposed to,” as I have already said, this Japanese expression is based on fact, and this expression is better. On the other hand, we have no intention to change the expression in Chinese. Regarding, too, the issue of region, as we have explained many times, having given particular mention to the Asia-Pacific region in regard to opposition to hegemony, it ought to be applied as well to the entire world, so we incorporated the language “or in any other region” as a new draft. What does the Chinese side think in regard to this issue of region?

5. Vice Minister Han replied as follows:

As I have already explained regarding this issue, Sentence 2 of the anti-hegemony clause in the Chinese draft extracts language from Article 7 of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. The reason that we extracted this language verbatim is simple. It is because we think that, as both China and Japan are part of the Asia-Pacific region, opposition to hegemony should be stressed in the Asia-Pacific region first. The Japanese side strongly desires to add “or in any other region” in addition to the Asia-Pacific region. We can consider this. The Japanese side stated its reason for adding the phrase “or in any other region,” and the Chinese side stated its view on it. The Chinese side is not opposed to make a concession on this point. That is, we are not opposed to adding the language “or in any other region” after “in the Asia-Pacific region.”

However, the expression “is opposed to” is no good. It has to be “opposes.” This issue is not simply one of literal expression. In Chinese and in Japanese, the expressions “opposes” and “is opposed to” are, after all, different. The tone differs in strength. Consequently, we cannot agree to writing “is opposed to” instead of “opposes.”

6. In response, I said the following:

Rewriting it as “is opposed to” is, first, an issue of the Japanese language. Second, if we were to use the expression “opposes,” there would be the issue of its signifying in Japanese some action. As I have already said, this expression in English is translated as “to be opposed” or “each is opposed.” In the sense of Japanese, one could translate it as “is opposed to,” and we would like to make the expression consistent in Japanese and English.

Such is our thinking. I will report to what Tokyo what Vice Minister Han has said just now.

7. Furthermore, when I said, “If there is anything else to ask on the other clauses, I would like to hear it,” Vice Minister Han said that there was and spoke as follows:

As I said in past meetings, there remain some issues other than the anti-hegemony clause. However, I have said that settling these issues will not be difficult.

(Note: At this point [Asian Affairs Department] Deputy Director Wang Xiaoyun whispered to Vice Minister Han that our side’s delegates had suggested something along the lines of “the issue of the anti-hegemony clause should be squared away first, then the following ones at the next meeting.” Vice Minister Han then replied to the effect “Time is limited. I think we have to hurry.” Furthermore, when a piece of paper passed by [Japanese Affairs Division Director] Ding Min, who was sitting next to Wang, reached Vice Minister Han, it was thought to be, inferring from what Vice Minister said afterwards, a reminder that the regional issue and that of “opposes” ought to be handled as a package.)

8. I said “If the time today is not sufficient, I would like to ask what the Chinese side thinks of holding a meeting on Monday.” Vice Minister Han answered, “Concerning the two issues for Clause 3, I would like once again to repeat the view of the Chinese side.” He then said the following:

(1)  If the Japanese side agrees to use the word “opposes” and not the words “is opposed to,” then, in regard to the issue of regional scope – “either in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region” – we are not opposed to adding the expression, as in the draft that the Japanese side put forth, “or in any other region” after “either in the Asia-Pacific region.”

(2) So far discussion has only taken place regarding Sentence 1, Clause 3, but our two sides differ as well regarding Sentence 2. As I said a while ago, there is, naturally, a need for discussion on both sides regarding the settling of this issue. We can make a concession in the addition of language not in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, that is, “or in any other region,” but we cannot agree to rewrite “opposes” as “is opposed to.” In this regard, our two sides are not yet in total agreement on the issue of the anti-hegemony clause. As the Ambassador just said, I would like you to report this to Tokyo.

(3) I would like to end today’s meeting here and hold the next one at 3:30 on Monday next week.

9. I replied, “I agree on ending today’s meeting here but would like to raise one point before then.” I then said the following:

Regarding the Chinese side’s statement just now that it would be fine to make a concession on adding the language “or any other region” if the Japanese side agreed not to change “opposes” to “is opposed to,” the issue of region and that of “opposes” and “is opposed to” are different issues, each with its respective character. We should not entangle these, so this is how I understand it. That is to say, the Chinese side can make a concession on the issue of “region” but cannot agree to the Japanese side’s draft on the issue of “opposes” and “is opposed to.” I will report this to Tokyo.

10. In reply, Vice Minister Han said the following:

(1) We need to discuss with one another regarding the anti-hegemony clause. As I have already said, the Chinese side considers the Japanese side’s so-called “new draft” to be an undesirable one. In addition, we consider the draft that the Chinese side put forth on August 2 to be the best one, the one most in conformity with the interests and views of the Chinese and Japanese sides. Also, on the issue of region, the Chinese side makes a concession but cannot agree to the expression “is opposed to.”

(2) At Monday’s meeting, I would like to hear the Japanese side’s view regarding the anti-hegemony clause in its entirety. Once our views are in accord on this issue, I would like to discuss the other clauses.

11.  Lastly, I said, “At this stage, I have to consult with Tokyo, so I would like to contact the Chinese side on Monday morning as to whether or not to have a meeting on Monday afternoon. Vice Minister Han then agreed to this, and the day’s meeting thus ended.




総番号 (TA) R056332  5550  主管

78年  月060058分 中国発

7808060237分 本省着   ア局長

外務大臣殿  佐藤大使


1550号 極秘 大至急



























 「反対である」と書き換えることは、第1にこれが日本語の問題であること、第2に「反対する」という表現を使つた場合、日本語によれば何らかの行動を意味するようなことになるとの問題がある。既に申し上げたとおり、この表現は英語で「TO BE OPPOSED」あるいは「EACH IS OPPOSED」と訳されており、日本語の感じでは「反対である」というふうに訳せるし、日本語と英語との表現を一かんしたものにしたい。

















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